Thanksgiving Break (So Far…)

Hello Friends,

I don’t usually apologize for my absences, but I feel I gotta this time. I am sorry for not writing in a long while, I have been busy helping to organize the 2019 Winterfest celebration at the girls’ school. We have mentioned it in previous years, but I am in it this year. Scheduled for Friday, December 6th, through Sunday, December 8th, 2019, you can check out the flier for the details here:

2019 Winterfest Official Flyer

I feel like this is another example of the closed economy of our (my) energy. But I can’t delve into it right now. I just finished a round of emails, and there is a bunch of stuff to organize and create leading into next week. Instead, I will leave you with a bunch of photos of the girls and I playing around in Millennium Park. With a full week off for Thanksgiving Break we had to throw in some adventures.

And yes, that’s gelato on a November day (they ate their lunches well!). We’ll see you out there, friends!

Fall Cleaning

Hello Friends,

Everyone talks about how much they love spring cleaning. I am a bigger fan of fall cleaning. I enjoy reflecting on the growth from the spring and summer, while clearing out our space to make room.

Our front yard is a decorative, perennial, native, low-maintenance situation. We copied our neighbor, a landscape architect, so we have some staggered blooming. We do weed and mulch, but for the most part, it takes care of itself. By the fall, the yard is predominantly leaves.

We have learned that our perennial plants enjoy a clear cut each fall. They come back the following spring more healthy and full. Here again, we did what our neighbor did.

The back yard is a different story. That’s our small, compost-fed garden bed. It gets a bunch of sun, though, and always does well (you’ve seen the evidence).

The bed benefits from a good clean-out, too. I dig a trench and dump in our unfinished compost. As the fall progesses, I add dried, shredded leaves as well, effectively turning the bed into a passive compost pile. Next year, we are going to add real beds, so the clean-out this year helped me visualize that layout.

That lemongrass is still going strong. Wife and I are deciding on the best way to bundle and dry it for tea this winter. The apple trees were happy to get some pruning, now that I could reach them!

Obviously, our front yard is our curb appeal. We also hope the plants help control the rain water. The back yard is a fun project, and we eat from the garden when we can. The girls are getting more involved and are more helpful each season, and that’s great. And I know I feel better after a garden therapy session! Hopefully, you have some good plants in your life, too. No matter if they are for food, or if they are just nice to look at.

“Inch by inch, row by row, we’re gonna make this garden grow”

LPZ Fall Fest

Hello Friends,

Autumn events abound, and I thought I’d share one that we tried. There’s a bit more pressure on the post, because this weeeknd is the last weeknd for the Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest.

The flier is true! They have a variety of programming available to entertain whatever your child likes.

The girls were great about indulging their nerdy father as I snapped photos all around the fest. Really, as long as there was an attraction nearby, they were cool with it.

One of the great things about Lincoln Park Zoo is that it’s close to home. Our drive is less than a half hour, even with some traffic. Another great thing is that they have all of the animal houses to warm up inside. Not only do you get a break from the cold (and spending tickets), you can check out the animals. The cafe also stays open for full lunch service and cookie decorating .

There are a couple of things to be aware of. Parking in Lincon Park can be frustrating. Zoo parking is great for members, but it does cost. The zoo admission is still free, but you pay for the fest attractions.

Again, this is the final weekend of the LPZ Fall Fest. Did I mention the pumkin patch? Well, there is one. Hopefully, you get lots of sun and low wind when you go check it out.

Happy Fall, friends. Which ever fest or farm you check out, I hope it’s fun. We’ll see you out there!

Hauntingly Distracting

Hello Friends,

I shared in my last post how our neighbors started decorating at the beginning of the month. The girls love seeing all the spooky characters and skeletons and ghosts, but it’s killing our morning commute.

You see, we have to stop to check out all the creepy decor. So our usual 10-15 minute walk is now taking us closer to 20.

Of course, people’s displays grow and change as they find new pieces. So every morning is a new adventure.

And don’t get me started on the walk home! We are taking a solid 25 minutes and edging closer to a half an hour every day. Mainly because the biggest attraction is just around the corner from the house.

Thankfully, my girls are not afraid of all this gore and spookiness. And I guess we’ll get back on schedule soon enough. Until then, come great pumpkin!

Halloween is now a Season

Hello Friends,

I don’t know if you feel the same, but I thought I would share one Mom’s feelings about Halloween. She was sharing that after all of the activities, she feels that Halloween is so much more than the actual day; Halloween is now a season. I didn’t hesitate to agree with her.

I shared our Bengtson’s trip with you all from the last weekend in September. The decorations started going up in our neighborhood at the beginning of October. The Stairway to Insanity Haunted House has run the past three weekends. Friday was the school Halloween Party.

We still have the actual day to celebrate, and we haven’t carved pumpkins yet! Yikes!

The girls are having a blast. They are at ages where they have fun with the costumes and decorations, even though they are not quite ready for the haunted houses. And true to form for their ages, they have changed costumes almost daily for the last three weeks. Good thing we have a variety of dress-up clothes.

What are your thoughts about Halloween? So over it or just can’t wait? Either way, the 31st will bring it to a close. Now about those pumpkins…

Tonight and Tomorrow – Last Chance!

Hello Friends,

That’s right, tonight and tomorrow are the last two nights of the Stairway to Insanity!

Again, amatuer haunt, good value at $10. I’m headed up at 6:30 tonight. Hope to see you there!

Stairway to Insanity

Hello Friends,

Tonight I’ll be climbing the stairway to the second floor of the St. Viator Elementary School Gymnasium. I am volunteering in tonight’s Stairway to Insanity Haunted House!

Not sure what you should do on this chilly, dreary, rainy night? Check out this review of last year’s haunt (this year is pending) and see if it doesn’t help you decide:

Come on over to the school for a value-haunt, spooky time. And then go out and get a big ol’ bowl of soup or some hot noodles or something else warm and filling. Whatever you do, make it a great night. We’ll see you out there, friends!